Data (Information)

Seasonal patterns of native plant cover and leaf trait variation on New York City green roofs: Data

Yee, Eric G.; Callahan, Hilary S.; Griffin, Kevin L.; Palmer, Matthew I.

These data include all plant trait data, percent green cover, and plant community data used in Yee et al. 2022. Files also include R-ready code and dataframes used to analyze these data.

Article abstract:
Plants make important contributions to green roof ecosystem service provision through evapotranspiration, canopy shading, and water retention. Because these plant communities are a critical component of green roof design and function, both seasonal and interspecific variation of these plant communities are important factors in evaluating green roof performance. This study examines variation in both species abundance and 9 leaf traits throughout the 2015 growing season of four New York City green roofs. While community composition varied significantly between each month (pANOSIM = 0.036), three major plant families (Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, and Poaceae) consistently had the greatest green cover and were present during the entirety of the growing season. For leaf traits, period of the growing season had a significant impact on most of the traits measured. Leaf thickness, leaf relative water content (RWC) and saturated water content (SWC) decreased as the growing season progressed, while leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and stomatal density increased, likely due to a seasonal decrease in rainfall as species-level variance in these water traits is low (7.40% and 0.88%, respectively). We also ranked planted and spontaneous species in accordance to both cover and functional trait values, and identified 11 species suitable for green roofs in NYC: Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Lamiaceae), Symphiotrichum leave, Symphiotrichum pilosum, Rudbeckia hirta, Solidago odora (Asteraceae), Panicum virgatum, Sorghastrum nutrans, Schizachyrium scoparium, Dichanthelium clandestinum, Deschampsia flexuosa (Poaceae), and Oenothera biennis (Onagraceae). Understanding the temporal responses of plant communities and their constituent species is critical in optimizing green roof ecosystem services.

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